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Confess Your Unpopular Bourbon Opinion

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alcoholica
10 hours ago, kevinbrink said:

Off the top of my head there is one age stated BT/Saz bourbon in regular rotation ER, in the last few years Ancient Age, Old Charter, Very Old Barton BIB (all of which compounded the issue with deceptive labeling). While many of their brands get harder to find they expanded with the CEHT Line, Stagg Jr, Weller CYPB, and coming soon Weller Full proof.  I agree that there have been some real odd decisions by Beam in terms of value but for whatever fault people point at them for releasing the KC LE Bourbons if you called them something other than KC people would line up for 13-14 year old high proof bourbon at their price. Clearly some age statements fell by the wayside but KC didn't become KC number 9 and the single barrels are actually disclosing more info now with the new labeling.  I think KC's profile has changed a little for the worse but it's not as night and day as current batches of ETL are to older ones, you just don't get to know how different those are since BT has always favored publishing "age statements" in their marketing materials. Many of  Beam's brand extensions have been on paper very good values, KC Rye Barrel Proof, Distiller's Cut, Repeal Batch, KC Rye Single Barrel, etc.

 

It is all frustrating though and I get your comparison to craft beer if you want to draw a straight line all you have to do is look at Adjuncts in the craft beer world as a direct comparison to barrel finishing. I think the bubble burst in distilling will be far less dramatic  than what is happening in craft beer though if only for the economics, distilling is far less attractive because the runway to making money is far longer than in craft beer so the number of new distilleries isn't increasing at the same pace as breweries did. I was pretty deep in beer for 15 or so years but the abundance of new dopey IPA's and Adjunct laden beers lost me for the most part a few years back. Traditionalism might be the other aspect of Whiskey that keeps it from the dramatic bubble burst. 

Geez, I always forget about the Charter line and lower end stuff. No VOB in FL, so I have limited experience there. Thanks for your take, I knew BT had a lot of faults, but your listing opens the eyes a lot more. 

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alcoholica
9 hours ago, flahute said:

We've been talking about when the bubble will pop for about 5 years now on these pages and it still grows. If you think the pop will occur because of the craft distilleries, you should check the numbers. The combined distilling capacity of all the craft distilleries is still a literal drop in the bucket compared to the majors. And, the majority of it sucks monkey balls. 

Also, 4R doesn't sell to anyone right now. They are putting everything they have into catching up after selling to Bulleit for so many years.

 

Regarding Beam, I sort of agree with you. I've been critical of them for a few years on these pages. They aren't being shady, it's more a lack of good planning and poor leadership.

It’s not just one factor. Yes craft distilling is a drop, but they are just one factor. I’d anticipate these craft distilleries like New Riff to become more sought out. Regardless just one factor. The big boys are expanding storage and even production capacity. Also add in that there will be a fairly transient market that just moves onto the next thing. 

 

I don’t think we’ll have a huge pop and utter collapse, but I do think in the next 5 years, a lot of the juice being made now will be hitting the market to a smaller demand. Searches for BTAC and the like will be rewarded as the flippers will eventually exit the market 

 

i can only give you my take. Live in FL and switched from high proof imperial beers to rum and quickly to bourbon in early 2017. My whiskey experience had always been JD, Crown, and a little white label. I hated whiskey, until I tried some Bakers on ice. Then curiosity hit and I explored. In two years, FL whiskey scene has gone full tilt. People are buying out shelves of Willett Rye just to sell them on FB pages. Not sure how much of the industry is that, but it’s entirely too much. Granted, i’ll clean off a shelf of RHF, but i pass along to my friends who are looking, not selling for a profit. 

 

Just looking here at home, this thing is going to fizzle soon. Too much effort for the flippers. 

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ThirstyinOhio
16 hours ago, alcoholica said:

While I have no proof, I certainly think a lot of the initial "allocation" talk was nonsense, but it ended with what appears to be legit allocations.  The CYPB label is a rip, IMHO.  But they have come out against the secondary market. Outside of the AA10, I don't remember the loss of any age statement, although Eagle Rare's got moved to the back. Their move off the Bourbon Trail is disappointing. They are certainly milking this for all it's worth, but I don't think they are as big an offender as Beam.  And I'm not a Beam hater, the bulk of my bunker is old age stated Beam products.

 

 

On top of what was already mentioned by @KevinBrink, Weller Antique and Special Reserve use to be age stated as well.

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flahute
6 hours ago, alcoholica said:

It’s not just one factor. Yes craft distilling is a drop, but they are just one factor. I’d anticipate these craft distilleries like New Riff to become more sought out. Regardless just one factor. The big boys are expanding storage and even production capacity. Also add in that there will be a fairly transient market that just moves onto the next thing. 

 

I don’t think we’ll have a huge pop and utter collapse, but I do think in the next 5 years, a lot of the juice being made now will be hitting the market to a smaller demand. Searches for BTAC and the like will be rewarded as the flippers will eventually exit the market 

 

i can only give you my take. Live in FL and switched from high proof imperial beers to rum and quickly to bourbon in early 2017. My whiskey experience had always been JD, Crown, and a little white label. I hated whiskey, until I tried some Bakers on ice. Then curiosity hit and I explored. In two years, FL whiskey scene has gone full tilt. People are buying out shelves of Willett Rye just to sell them on FB pages. Not sure how much of the industry is that, but it’s entirely too much. Granted, i’ll clean off a shelf of RHF, but i pass along to my friends who are looking, not selling for a profit. 

 

Just looking here at home, this thing is going to fizzle soon. Too much effort for the flippers. 

The good craft distilleries like New Riff are already sought out. Their capacity is so small though that it doesn't make a dent.

Will there be smaller demand in 5 years? Maybe. There also could be increased demand. None of us know. 5 years ago, some here thought it would be happening by now but instead it's increased tenfold.

I also think you assume too easily that BTAC will be easier to find. The sheer number of folks wanting it is so high that even if the flippers move on the demand will still be there to sell it out on the spot.

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Harry in WashDC
6 hours ago, alcoholica said:

     *     *     *     *     *

 

Just looking here at home, this thing is going to fizzle soon. Too much effort for the flippers. 

(My response really belongs over on the "has the bubble popped" thread or whatever it's called, but . . .)  Virginia ABC Board's website publishes the results of its LE auctions (open to Virginia residents only, BTW, and only one winner per entry and only one entry per human).  414 bottles of ORVW 10 @ $60 per attracted over 17,900 entrants while 360 of EC 18 @ $130 attracted 6,200+.

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PaulO

The numbers of LE bottles are small, and will remain relatively small.  It's planned that way by the companies that produce the stuff.  Keep the volume low and the price high.  If there is enough demand, those items are used as leverage to get people to buy lots of well liquor (hoping they are offered a trophy).

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StarSurfer55

Okay, so here goes:

 

1) the whole rye thing is done for me.  High rye is not in my preferred taste profile.  The rye spice can be good if well balanced against the corn sweetness.  Unfortunately, the rye spice has become an excuse for harshness.  Believe it or not, the two are are distinct.

 

2) I am done with 5% of the foodies, beer nerds, and Bourbon “experts” driving the markets.  As we have seen in the craft beer industry, the hunt for the next new beer and failure to buy a brewery’s foundational beers has resulted in several well known names going out of business.  I have made it my mission this year to buy the well crafted brands rather than chase the exclusive releases.  Most of my purchases are in the 30-50 range.  There are only a few that are worth more IMO.  Don’t even get me started with the foodies.  Their arrogance reminds me of the George Bernard Shaw quote that Arrogance is the last refuge of the Incompetent.

 

I feel better now.

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TimeWillTell

I think I may like rye whiskey better, despite 2 years ago avoiding ryes and high rye bourbon like the plague. 

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EarthQuake
Posted (edited)

On balance, high rye bourbons are better than wheaters. Keep the Weller and Pappy and give me Four Roses and 1792.

Edited by EarthQuake
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HoustonNit
On balance, high rye bourbons are better than wheaters. Keep the Weller and Pappy and give me Four Roses and WT.


Fixed that for you, I for the most part agree but I do still enjoy mixing it up with an occasional wheater.
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Jazzhead

Interesting that as products from the major distillers have been losing their age statements,  products from craft distillers have been gaining them!  

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TimeWillTell

To be fair, most seem to be gaining age statements of 3-5 years which isn't super impressive 

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WhiskeyBlender
15 hours ago, EarthQuake said:

On balance, high rye bourbons are better than wheaters. Keep the Weller and Pappy and give me Four Roses and 1792.

Amen! 

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kevinbrink
8 hours ago, HoustonNit said:

 


Fixed that for you, I for the most part agree but I do still enjoy mixing it up with an occasional wheater.

 

Bardstown may be the bourbon capital of KY but Lawrenceburg is where the heart is 

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EarthQuake
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, HoustonNit said:

 


Fixed that for you, I for the most part agree but I do still enjoy mixing it up with an occasional wheater.

 

Wild Turkey suits me just fine as well.

Edited by EarthQuake

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HoustonNit
Bardstown may be the bourbon capital of KY but Lawrenceburg is where the heart is 

I can definitely get behind this.
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Jazzhead
On ‎4‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 5:25 PM, TimeWillTell said:

To be fair, most seem to be gaining age statements of 3-5 years which isn't super impressive 

True, and many use small barrels which is "cheating" in a way.   Craft distillers have a tough time in the bourbon space because the big boys have so much well-aged stock.  Still, there are some which are producing very tasty bourbons.   And I'm rooting for the best of them to equal or exceed the quality of the legacy distillers.  More's the merrier, right?  

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BrokeCal

I've got another one.  After trying my second bottle of Evan Williams BiB Ive decided it really isn't that good at all.  It has a smell of acetone and has basically no character.  EW Black label is miles ahead in every respect.

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NDN98
13 hours ago, BrokeCal said:

I've got another one.  After trying my second bottle of Evan Williams BiB Ive decided it really isn't that good at all.  It has a smell of acetone and has basically no character.  EW Black label is miles ahead in every respect.

I agree.  Black label is at least drinkable!

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Kepler
On 4/23/2019 at 8:39 AM, alcoholica said:

i can only give you my take. Live in FL and switched from high proof imperial beers to rum and quickly to bourbon in early 2017.

I always find this fascinating.  Why would you say you migrated from one to the other so (apparently) easily?  Did you get tired of the taste of imperial beer and rum?  Do they not taste good to you anymore since you delved into bourbon?

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alcoholica
5 hours ago, Kepler said:

I always find this fascinating.  Why would you say you migrated from one to the other so (apparently) easily?  Did you get tired of the taste of imperial beer and rum?  Do they not taste good to you anymore since you delved into bourbon?

There were a few things going on all at the same time. Also, I've never solely been one kind of drinker. So I still drank a wide variety.

  • The beers I truly loved were seasonal. And then it was a chore to find them.
  • The core offerings of a lot of beers dropped in quality. I really like brown ales, and the one's i really liked (maduro, old brown dog, Elle) either dropped in quality or completely dropped out of my market.
  • Calories on a lot of these beers are ridiculous
  • I pretty much explored enough of the beer landscape to move on, because I just didn't love it. I think it was because I have a sweet tooth.

Had a co-worker who drank rum and got me on that path. Tried about a dozen or so, maybe less. Some I really liked, such as Pampero, Appleton, etc. and of course some I didn't like. But I did like the sweetness that rum had, and at 80 pf, it was pretty approachable. Shortly into this journey I had another friend who liked bourbon. My whiskey experience up to this point was not very good....Jack Daniels and Crown.  We started drinking 101 on ice with a heavy splash of  coke.  I really enjoyed it and shocked that I did. Just more going on compared to a lot of the rums, even when splashed with coke.

 

I didn't have anyone to really guided me along the way, so I ended up trying stuff like Bakers (way too soon) and Basil Hayden's. Started researching and took a trip to the bourbon trail in less than a year into my journey. A little too early to be honest.  Now a couple years in, I think I've more or less settled in. I love all kinds of bourbon and for a variety of reasons. There are simple easy drinking bourbons, complex make you think bourbons, powerful high octane bourbons, etc. The variety if remarkable.  

 

I've also have always been drawn to the history of bourbon and the fact that it is uniquely American. 

 

 

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Kepler

^^ This is a really nice well-articulated reply, thanks for sharing.  My favorite beer style is definitely brown ale.  I also like stouts , but I don't really know much about the various beers, other than there are too many different ones on the shelf.   It just seems like the beer industry got caught up into focusing on ridiculous labeling and branding "cuteness" (for lack of a better term) and it was a suicide move.  

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alcoholica
6 hours ago, Kepler said:

^^ This is a really nice well-articulated reply, thanks for sharing.  My favorite beer style is definitely brown ale.  I also like stouts , but I don't really know much about the various beers, other than there are too many different ones on the shelf.   It just seems like the beer industry got caught up into focusing on ridiculous labeling and branding "cuteness" (for lack of a better term) and it was a suicide move.  

Unfortunately, I see some of the same strategies going on in bourbon. Like why have a 114 pf Weller when you already have a 107. So many of these special releases have just fallen flat. If you can get Smuttynose's Old Brown Dog, it's a great brown ale (or was) I think it may have been bought out or went bankrupt. If you can ever find Cigar City's Bolita, it's a seasonal release double brown ale. Terrapin makes some nice approachable stouts, Founders and Bells are good too.

 

I really like Wild Turkey as a company, and I like that their core 101 hasn't suffered from the boom. In fact, not sure that they've done anything too crazy.

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